Darren’s got no bone to pick with former team JDT

On a roll: Darren Lok (left) has scored five goals in seven games so far this season.

PETALING JAYA: National striker Darren Lok returns to familiar grounds with the hope of leading Petaling Jaya City to victory.

The 31-year-old will face his former club Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the Super League at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri today but has promised to be professional and deliver.

He played for the Southern Tigers from 2016 to 2019 before moving to Terengganu in 2020.

He then joined PJ City in 2021 and has become a lynchpin for the Phoenix.

“It’s always nice to go back to Johor. I had three happy years there and still have many friends and ex-teammates, but once the game starts, I’m fully focused on helping PJ get a good result,” said Darren.“We are prepared. We know how strong JDT are, it’s not an easy place to go, but we go there with the belief we can win.”

This season, Darren has scored five goals in seven games, but what makes him a standout is the fact that he acts as the first defender when the opposition tries to initiate an attack.

When PJ City were held by Penang 1-1 last week, coach P. Maniam admitted that he missed the presence of Darren who was rested for the game after a gruelling international schedule where he helped Malaysia qualify for the Asian Cup.

“Coach Maniam has always made me feel important at PJ City and of course that gives a player the confidence. Footballers play their best when confidence is high.

“I’m enjoying my time here and I’m grateful they are giving me the opportunity to play regularly,” said Darren.

When asked about his time with the national team, he said: “The response from the fans has been great, the whole experience from the recent national call-up was amazing.

“We achieved our goal but now my focus is back with PJ City.”

PJ City are currently ninth in the league with nine points after eight matches.

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